CEED and Kaushalya Foundation jointly organise regional workshop on New Bihar RE Policy 2017

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Bihar RE policy shall pave way for investment amounting to Rs 20,000 crore in the energy sector of Bihar

On 9th December 2017, CEED in association with the Kaushalya Foundation organised a regional workshop at Darbhanga to highlight the key elements of the new renewable energy policy of Bihar. The policy is expected to revolutionise the energy sector of the state by paving the way for investment amounting to Rs 20,000 crore in the sector, and focuses on generating 3433 MW of clean energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2022. The workshop witnessed participation of several solar entrepreneurs, government officials, manufacturers, farmers and dealers active in the district.

As per the policy, BREDA and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) shall design several training programmes, under which, electricians and mechanics shall be trained across sections of solar technology, including its installation, operation, maintenance of solar projects, solar products testing, solar resource assessment, refurbishment and DPR preparations, among others.

Ms. Pooja Kumari, Programme Officer-Clean Energy at CEED said, “One of the most comprehensive renewable energy policies ever designed, the new Bihar renewable energy policy deals with both grid connected and decentralized applications with specific deployment mechanisms. Considering the fact that Darbhanga is a flood-prone area and comes under the repeated threat of flood devastation, dependence on grid system for uninterrupted power supply poses a serious setback. As such, the power-deprived district must make a switch from the conventional grid system to a decentralized rooftop or mini-grids. The policy also considers decentralized renewable energy systems as key components for delivering energy services to the deprived.” She further added, “We know that the policy also aims to build a capacity to generate 244 MW bio-fuel energy in the next five years. By setting up biomass power plants in Darbhanga, this target can easily be achieved; keeping in mind that cattle farming is a common practice in the area, which adds to the bio-waste and crop residue capacity of the place.”

While addressing the participants at the workshop, Mr. Avinash Kumar, Programme Manager, Kaushalya Foundation, said, “Owing to the rapid increase in water demand in the present scenario, the groundwater level in Darbhanga is depleting fast. The policy provides a way to transform the agriculture sector through clean energy. By setting up solar irrigation pumps to promote agriculture, particularly during times when there is no electricity, will help ensure a sustained economic development for the district. Apart from this, the western Kosi embankment area that boasts of surplus land will help create enough land banks to set up solar panels in the district. Above all, maintenance of grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy projects will require trained/skilled manpower, which will help create employment opportunities in the area.”

The policy aims to attract investment from the private sector in the field of solar energy. Several subsidies will be provided to entrepreneurs to establish new and renewable energy facilities. Also provisions to de-risk private sector investment in mini-grid projects are included, given the fact that remote areas of Bihar possess huge potential for mini-grids, and it is important to tap those potential with suitable investment climate. Out of several regional workshops to disseminate the new Bihar renewable energy policy across 4 prominent districts of Bihar, CEED has already conducted two workshops in Bhagalpur and Gaya.